Now There’s Proof; Picture Books are Not Declining

Back in October, the NYT ran an article that made me crazy. If you’re not familiar with it, the title alone indicates why; “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.”

The article asserted that picture books are in a decline and that a major factor is parents, who want to push their kids into reading chapter books. I wrote a rebuttal, explaining why picture books are still important for children; thanks to all of you who chimed in.

This week, Publishers Weekly‘s cover story carries a headline we can all toast, “Don’t Write the Obit For Picture Books Yet.” It also presents encouraging stats that refute that NYT‘s basic premise,

“The evidence: BookScan figures show that last year, picture books represented 10.8% of the overall children’s market—virtually the same as in 2005, when they represented 10.7%.”

The article goes on to quote publishers’ views of the market (definitely not declining) and gives an insightful look at the history of children’s book publishing and retailing. Great reading for the holidays!

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